End-of-Year Giving

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As we approach the end of 2023, it is not only natural to reflect on all God has done in and through the North American Baptist Conference over the past twelve months, but it’s also healthy. We cannot properly praise the Lord with hearts of thanksgiving without first taking the time to remember. I find it helpful to do this through the lens of the NAB’s Four Ends, the goals we believe God has set before us to strive toward together. I am excited to share with you some of what God has been up to this year in our midst, as well as look forward to what is on the horizon for next year; my hope is this powerful report will only increase your confidence and willingness in financially supporting our shared Kingdom work.

David Fitch at the 2023 Bonfire.

Train Missionally and Formationally | In addition to two new rounds of Blue Ocean – one that ended in the spring and a second that began in the fall – and another stellar Bonfire gathering in Chicago, the Missional Initiatives Team has also been leading book studies, webinars, and trainings throughout the year, with more to come in 2024. One of the most exciting areas of growth is in the NAB Fit Assessment, a multi-day discernment process for those interested in planting churches, leading church revitalization efforts, or becoming international missionaries. One of the leaders to come out of this assessment process is Dusty Dalton. Dusty is leading one of the newest NAB church plants, SHARE Communities out of Heartland Community Church in Medina, Ohio; he is also part of a cohort of planting leaders across denominational lines, working to rewrite how we plant churches to better reflect our missional and formational focus.

Engage Cross-Culturally | Throughout 2023, there have been a number of book studies, times of sharing testimonies, and webinars focused on cross-cultural engagement in the local church; one of these webinars was a discussion with NAB missionary Lyndell Campbell-Réquia and Kairos professor Larry Caldwell on the impact of culture on biblical interpretation and spiritual formation. We also hosted another series of webinars, in partnership with Parry Stelter, an Indigenous author, speaker, and pastor, to give people a place to learn and ask questions about Indigenous peoples. Additionally, the first Kurdish Christian church in the United States is part of the NAB family of churches! Led by Azad Barwari, Kurdish Christian Church in El Cajon, California, is reaching across cultures in our own backyard.

The current EYELET Team.

Develop Spiritual Leaders | For years, much of the driving influence across NAB initiatives has come from the leadership in the International Office. For the first time, some of that influence has been handed back to local leaders in the NAB. A variety of cohorts, led by NAB pastors, have either already begun meeting or are in the works. Another area of growth in this End is in EYELET. The Landing, a part of EYELET, has begun connecting and resourcing youth workers across the NAB. Additionally, EYELET is resourcing emerging leaders through webinars, building up a regional EYELET initiative, and developing plans for the 2025 Gathering, a youth conference / mission trip in Southern California.

Send International Missionaries | This past summer, NAB Gateway Director Randy Schmor led a group of high school students and young adults on an international mission trip. They served in Roma/Gypsy villages in rural Hungary, working alongside NAB missionaries and national missionaries. Another area of God visibly at work is at the Bicol Center for Christian Leadership in the Philippines; this training center, led by NAB global missions partner A. Claire Marker, not only is finding new methods of instruction but also new ways to put this Gospel instruction into practice, reaching out to Hindi-background medical students through a cultural food exchange.

This is only part of what God has done, and is doing, in our midst this past year. And there are still big things to come in the year ahead. The most prominent item is, of course, the 2024 Triennial Conference in St. Paul, Minnesota. We will be gathering together over the course of July 11–14, 2024, to celebrate, connect, and grow together. Our theme is Becoming a People of Peace. You can find out more and register today at www.nabtriennial.com.

Above all, this work would not be possible without partners like you from all across the NAB. God is on the move, and our plans for the year ahead reflect initiatives he is blessing. Your gift today of $50, $100, or more will greatly assist us in resourcing the efforts where God is at work, expanding the reach of the Gospel as we strive toward the End Goals together.

In God’s generous grace,

Harry Kelm
Executive Director
North American Baptist Conference

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